A San Antonio school police officer has been placed on leave while the district investigates a video purporting to show him throwing a 12-year-old girl onto the ground last week.
San Antonio Independent School District spokeswoman Leslie Price told the San Antonio Express-News that Officer Joshua Kehm intervened in a verbal argument between two girls at Rhodes Middle School on March 29.
“We need to find out the details as to what occurred, but I can say that we will not tolerate excessive force in this district,” Price told KSAT.
The 33-second video, which the Express-News reported was posted to YouTube Tuesday, shows Kehm struggling to restrain the student, identified as Janissa Valdez. Kehm then throws her to the ground and handcuffs her before picking her up and walking her away.
KSAT reported that a group of students claimed that Valdez kicked the officer several times before he grabbed her. Valdez denied doing so, telling the station that she was suspended from school for two days as a result of the initial confrontation.
“I was upset. I was angry, because I still couldn’t believe that he had done that to her,” Valdez’s mother Gloria said. “And then she told me ‘Mom, I wasn’t fighting. Why would he do that?'”
Price said the district’s police department and the school administration were investigating the incident.